Sony has a new gaming controller designed to be customizable for people with disabilities.
Project Leonardo, unveiled Wednesday at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, is the codename for a new PlayStation 5 accessibility kit that Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said “will allow players with disabilities to play more easily, more comfortably and for longer periods.”
Like Microsoft’s similar Xbox Adaptive Controller, Project Leonardo is designed to work right out of the box. The circular hub features swappable components such as an analog joystick and eight buttons, as well as a suite of software options for PS5. It can be used as a standalone controller or paired with another Project Leonardo controller or DualSense wireless controller.
Sony said it collaborated on the project with accessibility groups AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up to ensure it’s highly configurable to range of players with challenges such as limited motor control, difficulty holding a controller for long periods and difficulty pressing small clusters of buttons accurately.
“Our team tested over a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches that would help address key challenges to effective controller use,” Sony designer So Morimoto said in a blog post. “We finally settled on a ‘split controller’ design that allows near free-form left/right thumbstick repositionability, can be used without needing to be held, and features very flexible button and stick cap swapping. The controller can also flexibly accept combinations of accessibility accessories to create a unique aesthetic.”
Sony didn’t announce a price or when the controller would be available.